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German IG Metall union warns of strike after Easter

Written by: Staff
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BERLIN, Mar 25 (Reuters) Germany's powerful engineering and metalworkers union IG Metall will call its members out on strike after Easter if no satisfactory pay offer is forthcoming, the union's head was quoted as saying on Saturday.

IG Metall is already planning so-called warning strikes, typically stoppages of a few hours, from Tuesday's night shift on across the country, union chief Juergen Peters told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

''Everyone knows the calendar: Easter (April 16) is coming around relatively quickly and we must have clarity by then,'' the paper quoted Peters as saying.

''If we do not see something happening by then, action could rapidly get under way. Some of our colleagues would quickly say: that's enough. Now we need to get down to the nitty gritty.'' Germany's biggest industrial union is seeking a pay rise of five per cent for the nation's 3.2 million engineering and metalworkers, although most analysts believe they will get three percent at most.

Industry employers' group Gesamtmetall has said a 1.4 per cent rise may be possible.

''Gesamtmetall cannot be surprised if we are calling for warning strikes,'' Peters told the paper. ''I am speechless about this stalemate.'' European Central Bank monetary policymakers have repeatedly urged negotiators to ensure wage deals remain ''moderate'' amid concern wage growth could fuel inflation in the combined economy of the dozen nations using the euro.

REUTERS SD RK1650

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